Electronic cigarettes are ubiquitous in most NYC delis and are quite popular in the metropolitan area. However, they can pose a danger and it has nothing to do with the smoke. They can explode. Just this year, exploding electronic have resulted in three recent lawsuits on California this year alone.
The U. S. Fire Administration description of E-cigarettes
The e-cigarette, also called a personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system, is a battery-powered device that simulates tobacco smoking by producing a heated vapor, which resembles smoke. These devices have become very popular as an alternative to smoking, including among a growing number of individuals who have never been smokers but who enjoy the many flavors and/or the experience of using e-cigarettes.
In all, there have been over a dozen cases of exploding e-cigs in the past few years.
In one of the current California cases, Bakersfield resident Vincente Garza lifted the e-cig to his mouth, pushed the vapor button and it exploded near his face and badly burned his mouth and left hand. Garza had to have his left index finger amputated.
What happens is the e-cigarettes’ lithium-ion batteries that blow up. although the same type of batteries are found in laptops and cellphones, e-cigarette batteries are especially prone to overheating due to such things as using incompatible chargers or overcharging them.
FoxNews affiliate Fox 13 in Salty lake City reported on how a an e-cigarette plugged into car cigarette lighter to charge exploded on the seat seriously burning her 3-year old child.
In another of the California cases, the Los Angles Times reports that attorney Gregory L. Bentley who represents Garza also had another client who was awarded damages due to an exploding e-cigarette
In September, a Riverside County Superior Court jury awarded a client of Bentley’s, Jennifer Ries, nearly $1.9 million after she sued the distributor, wholesaler and store where she bought vaping devices that exploded. She was badly burned after a charging e-cigarette battery caught fire in her car. Bentley said that was the first e-cigarette explosion lawsuit to be tried in the country and that his phone has since been ringing nonstop with similar cases.
In 2014 the U.S. Fire Administration issued a report on exploding e-cigs. Some highlights of the report:
- More than 2.5 million Americans are using electronic cigarettes(e-cigs or e-cigarettes), and this number is growing rapidly.
- Twenty-five separate incidents of explosion and fire involving an e-cigarette were reported in the United States media between 2009 and August 2014.
- Nine injuries and no deaths were associated with these 25 incidents.Two of the injuries were serious burns.
- Most of the incidents occurred while the battery was charging.
- The shape and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to behave like “flaming rockets” when a battery fails.